Renderings for the proposed mixed-use affordable housing proposal for seniors and youth on Yale Road east on the site of the former Paramount Theatre. (City of Chilliwack)

Renderings for the proposed mixed-use affordable housing proposal for seniors and youth on Yale Road east on the site of the former Paramount Theatre. (City of Chilliwack)

Affordable housing in Chilliwack targets under-served seniors and youth

Proposal for mixed-use affordable housing in DT Chilliwack; goes to public hearing Nov. 17

Many have been holding their collective breath in Chilliwack to see what would be built on the site of the old Paramount Theatre across from the new District 1881 development.

A revised proposal for a mixed-use commercial and affordable housing project is now before council with the public hearing set for Nov. 17.

Funded by BC Housing, the proposal from applicant Chilliwack Community Services would see affordable housing “targeting seniors and youth” on the two lots owned by City of Chilliwack on Yale Road east.

The latest version calls for a six-storey building with three commercial units, office space and a child care facility on the first two floors, and 66 residential apartment units on the second to sixth floors.

The development proposed by the applicant “will provide much-needed additional affordable housing units within the downtown core,” according to the staff report in the Nov. 3 council agenda.

The applicant has boosted the number of affordable housing units from 44 to 66, which is an increase in overall density of units (du) from 350 du/ha to 530 du/ha, and allocated 58 units to seniors 55 years and older, with eight for youth aging out of care.

Most of the units are small, with 65 being 60 square metres (645 feet) or less in area.

They also took out nine parking spaces from the rear of the site in favour of expanding the overall footprint of the building.

It’s slated to go to public hearing on Nov. 17 for zoning and OCP changes at city hall to designate the properties 46183 and 46187 Yale Road to Urban Quarter (Density Bonus) and rezone from a C3 (Town Centre Commercial) Zone to a CD-26 (Comprehensive Development-26) Zone.

A new zone Urban Quarter (Density Bonus) is specifically geared to affordable rental housing owned and managed by a not-for-profit and secured through a housing agreement.

The proposed changes would relax certain zoning standards: off-street parking numbers, private/common amenity areas, bicycle parking, landscaping and storage lockers.

An earlier application was reviewed by council on Aug. 21, 2018 and held at third reading but those bylaws will be abandoned for a new comprehensive development zone.

READ MORE: 2018 proposal was for 44 units

READ MORE: Affordable housing for seniors part of vision

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